Montreal

Officials in Trois-Rivières searching for source of legionnaires' disease spike

8 people have been hospitalized in past 2 weeks after breathing in the bacteria

Trois-Rivières

Des Forges Street in downtown Trois-Rivières. (Radio-Canada)

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A number of fountains in Trois-Rivières are closed as public health officials search for the source of a spike in cases of legionnaires' disease.

Eight people have been hospitalized this month after breathing in the bacteria. There are usually eight cases in an entire year on the territory of the local health authority, which includes the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec regions.

Samples from the fountains have been sent to the Environment Ministry for testing.

Legionnaires' disease causes a type of pneumonia, along with gastrointestinal problems.

The bacteria is often found in stagnant water in rooftop cooling systems.

All 16 working water cooling systems in the city have been checked, and were negative for the bacteria.

Anyone showing symptoms of the disease should contact a doctor.

A massive outbreak in Quebec City five years ago made more than 180 people sick — 14 of them died.

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